The Washington Capitals have some extremely important decisions to make this off-season. What to do with defenseman Mike Green will be one of them. Green has one year left on his current contract and will count for a cap hit of $6,083,333 next season. He also has a modified no-trade clause, the terms of which are unknown. The fact that he has one suggests that Green would probably have to OK any trade.
Using the compliance buyout on Green would be a very questionable move by the Capitals. It makes no sense to amnesty a defenseman who is still somewhat useful and only has a year left on his deal. When you consider the Washington Capitals are extremely thin on defense as is, getting no return for Mike Green would probably be the dumbest thing the Capitals could do. Trading him, however, is a different story.
Why Green Should Be Traded
1. He’s declining. I can’t deny that this is true- Green is clearly declining. The days of Game Over Green are over.
2. He can’t stay healthy. Another thing that I cannot deny.
3. He is expendable because his greatest asset (running the point during power plays) is no longer that great. The emergence of John Carlson as one of the best PP defensemen in the league makes this a legitimate argument.
Why Green Shouldn’t Be Traded
1. He has one year left on his contract. If Green had 2 or 3 years left on his deal, I’d be all in favor of the Capitals trading Mike Green for whatever they can get for him. That’s not the case. He has one year left.
2. Nobody’s giving up that much for him. To clarify, I’m not saying that nobody would be interested in Mike Green. Mike Green is a defenseman who still moves the puck well and is still an asset on offense. I think that Green would be a fit for any team that needs some help on offense and has the cap room to absorb Green. That would include the Minnesota Wild, St Louis Blues, and the Montreal Canadiens. All 3 of those teams will have a ton of cap money to spend. Green would be a welcome addition to their blue lines, especially on power plays. The problem is, neither of those teams would give up that much to get him.
3. The Washington Capitals are already thin on defense. This is probably the biggest reason to not trade him. The Capitals, if they want to contend next season, need a top 4 defenseman. The Capitals currently have 3 top 4 defensemen in Karl Alzner, Carlson, and Green. If they get rid of Green, they’d need to acquire another top 4 defenseman in a pretty shallow market. If the Capitals could trade Green for another defenseman, that would be great. But why would a team give up a top 4 caliber defenseman for Mike Green?
The Washington Capitals, in my opinion, should at least shop Green to see what they could get for him. If they can get a decent return and they are fine with rebuilding for a season, Mike Green could be a nice trade asset. I don’t think that any team would give up that much for him.
As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.